June 21 (Reuters) – The regulation enforcement response to the Uvalde college taking pictures that killed 19 youngsters and two lecturers was “an abject failure” through which a commander put the lives of officers over these of the kids, Texas Division of Public Security (DPS) Director Steven McCraw mentioned on Tuesday.
Throughout a Texas Senate listening to into the Could 24 mass taking pictures, McCraw informed lawmakers that “horrible selections” have been made by the onsite commander and officers who responded to the scene didn’t have sufficient coaching, costing them helpful time which will have saved lives.
“There’s compelling proof that the regulation enforcement response to the assault at Robb Elementary was an abject failure and antithetical to every thing we have realized,” McCraw mentioned.
Police actions after the gunman entered Robb Elementary Faculty and started taking pictures have come beneath shut scrutiny, with many dad and mom and relations expressing deep anger over the response. learn extra
Among the many delays McCraw detailed was the seek for a key to the classroom door the place the taking pictures occurred. McGraw mentioned police waited to enter whereas they sought a key, even supposing the door was not locked and there’s no proof officers ever tried to see if it was secured.
“There isn’t any technique to lock the door from the within and there is no means for the topic to lock the door from the within,” McCraw mentioned.
The Texas DPS, days after the taking pictures, mentioned that as many as 19 officers waited over an hour in a hallway outdoors lecture rooms 111 and 112 earlier than a U.S. Border Patrol-led tactical group lastly made entry. McCraw reiterated that within the listening to on Tuesday.
“The officers had weapons, the kids had none. The officers had physique armor, the kids had none. The officers had coaching, the topic had none. One hour, 14 minutes, and eight seconds – that’s how lengthy the kids waited, and the lecturers waited, in Room 111 to be rescued,” the DPS director mentioned.
“Three minutes after the topic entered the west constructing, there was a enough variety of armed officers carrying physique armor to isolate, distract and neutralize the topic,” McCraw added.
“The one factor stopping a hallway of devoted officers from getting into Room 111, and 112, was the on-scene commander, who determined to position the lives of officers earlier than the lives of youngsters,” the director mentioned within the listening to. learn extra
McCraw mentioned the scene commander, Uvalde colleges police chief Pete Arredondo, “waited for radio and rifles, and he waited for shields and he waited for SWAT. Lastly, he waited for a key that was by no means wanted.”
Arredondo earlier this month mentioned he by no means thought-about himself the incident commander of the scene of the taking pictures, and that he didn’t order police to carry again on breaching the constructing. learn extra
Arredondo informed the Texas Tribune that he left his two radios outdoors the varsity as a result of he wished his fingers free to carry his gun. He had mentioned he known as for tactical gear, a sniper and keys to get inside, holding again from the doorways for 40 minutes to keep away from scary sprays of gunfire.
Group members together with dad and mom of the victims urged Arredondo to resign throughout an impassioned college board assembly on Monday, ABC Information reported.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington and Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Modifying by Doina Chiacu, Paul Thomasch and Mark Porter